Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has dropped a claim concerning the future of Tyler Roberts.
In recent comments cited by Leeds Live, the 66-year-old suggested that he would not stand in the way of a player’s departure if it was evident that they did not want to remain at the club, although went on to claim that, despite Roberts having fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks, he is keen to keep the 22-year-old at Elland Road ahead of the transfer window.
Concerning the 19-time capped Wales international’s future, Bielsa offered the following hint: “Tyler is also someone who I have accompanied with, with his efforts to get into the team and whilst he continues to have that desire to fight for a place in the team then I will still want him to be here. It is different when a player has the desire to leave. When a player has a desire to leave, there is no point in trying to keep him.”
While Bielsa’s comments regarding Roberts’ commitment to the cause are all well and good, whether or not the attacker is good enough to play a regular role in a team of Leeds’ current standing is another matter altogether.
Indeed, over his 13 Premier League appearances so far this season – only one of which has come as a start – the £5.4m-rated man has failed to score a goal, register an assist and has created just one big chance for his side, as well as taking an average of 0.9 shots and making a mere 0.6 key passes per game.
It was a similar story for the player who Gabriel Agbonlahor dubbed “frustrating” last season, with the 22-year-old scoring one goal, providing two assists and earning a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.76 over his 27 Premier League appearances – ranking him as the club’s eighth-worst player in the league.
As such, while it would appear that Roberts’ application is not in question, whether or not the attacker is a top-flight standard player is much more debatable, something that would appear to support the argument of Victor Orta looking to ship the Welshman out in January.